Keeping my peeps warm

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mjoal, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. mjoal

    mjoal Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2011
    I've read a couple of posts that speak about keeping your coop draft free from the cold. My coop has 3 vent windows that are about 1 x 2 that are covered with mesh. Do I need to cover the windows with plastic for the winter to protect my peeps from the wind? Other than the windows the coop is well sealed.
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends on where your vents are located. If they are high at the top of the coop walls, well over the heads of the chickens, they won't create drafts. Think of a draft like wind chill: cold air blowing right onto the birds as they roost. That's bad, of course.

    Coops need to be adequately ventilated even in winter, though. A coop that's not properly ventilated can actually make frostbite more likely because humidity can build up inside the coop from poop/bedding and chickens' respiration.

    I leave the highest vent in my coop open throughout the winter, but I close down and insulate the lower vent and windows.
     
  3. mjoal

    mjoal Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2011
    The vents are right up by the roof, so it sound like they should be ok. The highest point the peeps can roost is about 1 foot under the vents. Thank-you for your information [​IMG]
    I am finding so much helpful info on this site!
     
  4. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Need a bit more information, location, number of birds, coop size, what is cold (to me -20 is cold).

    But generally if the only ventilation is the windows, you will need to keep at least one open. Generally it is best to not have the wind blowing directly into the window and onto your birds (when they are roosting), but if you have no choice, wind into a window is going to be better than no ventilation at all. If the wind MUST blow into a window, drape a towel or blanket over it to create a baffle, but not a seal. Place the baffle over 3/4 of the window so that the wind blows above, below or above and below the roosting birds (baffle bottom, top or middle). You could use plastic, but may catch and create a maintenance issue, a towel or blanket is sturdier and will 'flap' much better. If there is no wind, tie it back to get maximum ventilation.

    If one window in on the windward side, open the other two. If it is very windy, lightly baffle those as well.

    Damp air is what you do not want. Or better said, air at a higher humidity level that that which is outside.
     
  5. mjoal

    mjoal Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2011
    My coop is 5 ft long x 3 ft wide x 5 ft tall. I have 6 hens. The coldest it will get here on the west coast is -10. I think I'll take your advice with the towel just to be safe and watch the coop inside for moisture. The run is 20 ft x 10 ft I have half of the run covered with a roof but what do you think about laying hay down in the run for insulation in the cold?
     
  6. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Just a personal thing but I would never put hay or straw down outside, makes a mess and there is no need for insulation on the ground. They are very well built for cold temps. at -30 they are just fine. On my page I explain out thoughts and philosophy on chickens. They are very similar to wild birds, and they are out in the cold at -34 in blowing snow, rain, etc. Chickens in a coop with ample feed and water have it pretty darn good. There is actually no place in the US that you HAVE to worry about cold, most of the worrying and cold preparations is for the good of the owner, and in my opinion unnecessary. This does not mean you can't or shouldn't do it, just that you don't HAVE to do it.

    Best thing to do is know your flock and watch them. Just standing at a distance and watching them, preferably where they don't know your there, and you will see them acting naturally. From that information, make a decision. That is what I do.
     
  7. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    have you considered building a soda can solar heater for the coop? i will build one one day when i get seramas.prob. also have some ceramic tiles in there to contain heat a little longer through the night
     

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